The dangers of certainty

Everybody needs to read this.

NYTimes Magazine article on Bush’s fanaticism

”Just in the past few months,” Bartlett said, ”I think a light has gone off for people who’ve spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he’s always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.” Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush’s governance, went on to say: ”This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can’t be persuaded, that they’re extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he’s just like them. . . .

And my favorite line…

Faith heals the heart and the spirit, but it doesn’t do much for analytical skills.

I miss Jimmy

Jimmy Carter: ‘The War has Been Unnecessary’

Couric: But turning Iraq into a democracy is a good thing to you?
Carter: I think that’s a very admirable thing, sure. You could list 50 countries in the world that don’t have democracies, and it would be better if they had all democracies. But to attack a country almost unilaterally and waste away the almost universal global support and friendship and alliances that we had after the tragedy of 9/11 is what has been done.

Vonnegut rants.

Vonnegut spilled some bile on the web a few weeks ago:

Cold Turkey

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

Good stuff.

Bad Karma

The article everybody’s talking about. The last paragraph nails the anxiety I’ve been feeling for a while about Rumsfeld’s approach.

The New Yorker

“In an odd way,” Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said, “the sexual abuses at Abu Ghraib have become a diversion for the prisoner abuse and the violation of the Geneva Conventions that is authorized.” Since September 11th, Roth added, the military has systematically used third-degree techniques around the world on detainees. “Some jags hate this and are horrified that the tolerance of mistreatment will come back and haunt us in the next war,” Roth told me. “We’re giving the world a ready-made excuse to ignore the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld has lowered the bar.”